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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 18, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By CINDY BALZER

'Yoga" Bear
This black bear in the Herring Cove area appears to be working on some new yoga moves. The photographer was able to capture this
close-up pose using a zoom lens.
Every bear has a “personal space”– the distance within which the bear feels threatened. If you enter that space, the bear may become aggressive. Respecting bears and learning proper behavior can help you avoid conflict.
Learn more about Living With Bears (ADF&G)
Front Page Feature Photo By CINDY BALZER ©2019

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Alaska: Governor’s call amended to include capital budget with full Legislature convening in Juneau; Senate Democrats Request Oil Tax Reform Be Added to Special Session Call By MARY KAUFFMAN - Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy announced an amended call of the second legislative special session yesterday, adding the capital budget and amending the location of the session from Wasilla to Juneau where the lawmakers gathered today in the Alaska State Capitol to begin working on the expanded agenda and to continue working on the many pressing issues facing our state.

"In my daily discussions with legislators – those both in Wasilla and in Juneau – many have acknowledged that real progress needs to be made on the capital budget and that work cannot be completed until the legislature is meeting in one location,” said Governor Dunleavy yesterday. 

Dunleavy said, “With sensitivity to the time that remains to capture federal funds, the Legislature will be able to quickly consider the capital budget, the PFD, and conclude this work for the people of Alaska before the end of July.”

Members of the Alaska State House and Senate, who heeded the Governor’s statutory call to meet in Wasilla, recently submitted a proposal to Governor Dunleavy to amend the call in order to address the capital budget and work with all lawmakers to address outstanding items. The proposal – dated July 15, 2019 – recognizes upcoming deadlines and the risk of losing access to critical matching funds – necessary to develop and sustain the economy, Alaskan families, and the state.

Leadership of the Senate and the House caucuses have also acknowledged the necessity and urgency to resolve these issues and requested that the capital budget be added to the call. They too are committed to working together for the benefit of all Alaskans.

Today, July 18, 2019, Governor Dunleavy planned to introduce a capital budget that will contain state matching funds for federal transportation programs, state matching funds for village safe water projects, funding for the new crime legislation (HB 49), and other necessary fixes to a number of fund source changes that appeared in the final version of the capital budget passed by the Legislature in May. 

“Timelines compel us to find a solution sooner rather than later. Concluding work on the state infrastructure budget and the PFD brings the Legislature one step closer to finishing the work of the people,” said Governor Dunleavy.

“Legislative leaders from all four caucuses are meeting frequently with the governor. We have identified areas of alignment and found a productive next step to move Alaska forward,” Senate President Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) said yesterday. “I thank the governor, Speaker Bryce Edgmon, Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, and House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt for their active participation in negotiations for the benefit of the Alaska we all love.”

Senate Democratic Leader Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) in a prepared statement said, “I personally want to thank the Governor for calling the Legislature to Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. Alaska is facing a number of challenges. The Governor’s call will ensure we address these challenges together as we continue to work to bring hope and opportunities to all Alaskans."- More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

Alaska: Judge signs order releasing Fiscal Year 2020 Alaska education funding By MARY KAUFFMAN - Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson entered into a stipulation with the Alaska legislature to ensure education funds will be disbursed while a lawsuit over the 2018 forward appropriation of fiscal year 2020 appropriation funding proceeds. The stipulation was filed Monday with the court.

Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Daniel Shally signed an order submitted jointly by attorneys from the Department of Law and the Legislature releasing education funding for Fiscal Year 2020.

Judge Shally’s order states that “for good cause and in the public interest” the joint motion is granted and state funding for education shall be disbursed on a monthly basis while this matter is pending before the court. The calculation for the funds released will be based on the public school funding formula under AS 14.17.410(b) and the pupil transportation funding formula under AS 14.09.01.

The order, signed July 16, 2019, was distributed to the parties Wednesday morning.  The Attorney General noted the parties sought expedited consideration on this lawsuit and will file a proposed order with a briefing schedule to that effect.

“We recognize the importance of the constitutional question presented to the court on this matter, but also want to ensure that Alaska’s schools receive funding while this litigation proceeds,” said Attorney General Kevin Clarkson.

"We have a clear constitutional disagreement between the executive and legislative branches," said Attorney General Clarkson. "But that should not impact our schools. Both the governor and the legislature agree funding should continue, even if we disagree on whether there is a valid appropriation to fund schools. The stipulation ensures that funding continues while the courts review the legal arguments. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019


Alaska: VA Secretary Visits Alaska - Governor Michael J. Dunleavy today welcomed US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to Alaska. Governor Dunleavy and Secretary Wilkie held a meeting in Palmer, discussing ways the VA can expand and improve the services they offer to veterans across Alaska, as well as how the federal and state Veterans Affairs agencies can partner together to best serve Alaska’s veterans in the nation’s largest state.

“It was great to welcome Secretary Wilkie to Alaska as he travels throughout our state to survey the services the VA offers to Alaska’s veterans,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Dunleavy said, “Alaska is home to more veterans per capita than any other state in the country, and our veteran population is steadily growing. I am proud of the work we do with the VA and look forward to increasing access to VA services across Alaska, both urban and rural, in the coming months.”

“My appreciation to Governor Dunleavy for our discussion on how to further support our Veterans in the state of Alaska. I shared with him that Alaska is the future when it comes to the transformation of Veterans Affairs. That is why this is my second visit to Alaska during my short 11 months as Secretary,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Wilkie. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

Alaska: Alaska Attorney General responds to ACLU lawsuit to reverse Governor's "Retaliatory" Veto of Court System Funding - Wednesday, the ACLU of Alaska filed suit against Governor Dunleavy and the State of Alaska to block his administration’s attempt to "punish the Alaska Court System by vetoing $334,700 in its 2020 budget because the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in a manner at odds with his political views". 

According to ACLU of Alaska, this veto is an impermissible exercise of executive authority that attacks Alaskans’ deep commitment to an independent judiciary, violates Alaska’s constitutional separation of powers, and illegally attempts to reallocate budget appropriations.

“Governor Dunleavy admitted outright that his veto was direct retaliation against the Alaska Court System for a court decision at odds with his political views. That isn’t just petty and vindictive; it is a clear assault on the constitutional power of the judiciary and a grossly inappropriate attempt to use money to coerce judges to a political end,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker.

Decker continued, “Alaskans don’t want judges making decisions with an eye on how much money politicians will give them if they rule one way or another. That isn’t how we get justice.”

Today, Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson issued a statement regarding American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska lawsuit filed yesterday, July 17, 2019, in Anchorage Superior Court

Clarkson said, “Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Executive is the separate and coequal branch of government that is expressly granted the line-item veto power under the Alaska Constitution. The governor’s express veto power includes all appropriation bills and there is no exception stated regarding appropriations to the Judiciary or court system.” - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

Alaska: Comprehensive Mental Health Plan for Alaska Finalized  - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services , in partnership with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, has finalized Strengthening the System: Alaska’s Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan.

This five-year plan assists with guiding resources to the services, workforce and facilities necessary to meet the needs of Trust beneficiaries. Trust beneficiaries include Alaskans who experience mental illness, developmental and intellectual disabilities, chronic alcoholism and drug dependence, traumatic brain injuries, or Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. 

Strengthening the System is intended to support planners and service providers statewide as they work to apply resources and talent to improve the lives of Trust beneficiaries. The plan defines nine goals, each with corresponding objectives and strategies, to create a comprehensive health care system that provides a full continuum of prevention, treatment and support services in Alaska. 

“I’m pleased that the 2020-24 plan has a strong focus on prevention and early intervention. Including these types of activities as part of our goals ensures that we promote resiliency in Alaskans, which can reduce their risks of developing serious health problems over the course of their lifetime,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “It also allows us to identify and provide help earlier to children who experience trauma, which is shown to decrease threats to their health throughout their lifespan.”  - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

Alaska: Measles case confirmed in Alaska - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) confirmed a single case of measles on Tuesday in an unvaccinated teenager from the Kenai Peninsula who recently traveled out of state to Arizona via Seattle, Washington. This makes Alaska the 29th state to have a confirmed case of measles in 2019. 

The DHSS Public Health Laboratory in Fairbanks confirmed the diagnosis today at 5:30 p.m.

Only people who may have been exposed and are not already immune to measles either by adequate immunization or from having the disease in the past are at immediate risk. 

Some people may have been exposed to measles through this confirmed case. A list of possible exposure locations, including dates and times, is posted on the DHSS measles webpage and will be updated regularly as more information becomes available. Known exposure locations during the infectious period when measles can spread to other people include Froso’s Family Dining in Soldotna, from July 8-9 and July 11-13, and Urgent Care of Soldotna and Central Peninsula Hospital on July 14. The patient has been isolated at home since then and is recovering. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

Volcanoes, permafrost, earthquakes shape Alaska

Volcanoes, permafrost, earthquakes shape Alaska
The Devil Mountain Lakes maar lies on the Seward Peninsula east of Shishmaref.
Photo courtesy National Park Service


Alaska: Volcanoes, permafrost, earthquakes shape Alaska By NED ROZELL -  Forty-one volcanoes that have erupted since the 1700s. Eleven percent of the world’s earthquakes. Glaciers of an ever-changing number that probably tops 100,000. Alaska has its share of superlatives, and here’s another one — Alaska has the largest maar on Earth.

What’s a maar? It looks a lot like a lake, it’s circular and it exists because of colossal explosions that happened when molten rock met water. Jim Beget has visited the world’s largest set of maars, located on the northern horn of the Seward Peninsula east of Shishmaref.

Landforms shaped in dramatic fashion intrigue Beget, retired from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Geosciences. He has visited the Devil Mountain Lakes maar, the largest one on Earth.

The Seward Peninsula, home to Nome, Shishmaref, Elim, and other towns and villages, seems an unlikely place for volcanoes. Unlike in the Aleutian Islands, on the Alaska Peninsula, or in the Wrangell Mountains, the Seward Peninsula has no cone-shaped, steaming peaks. But the nose of Alaska that juts into the Bering Sea has several circular lakes that hint at the area’s steamy past.

The Devil Mountain Lakes maar is about 5 miles in diameter. About 60 miles southwest of Kotzebue, it formed about 21,000 years ago, when volcanic eruptions forced their way through permafrost. The frozen ground created the exceptional size of the maar, Beget said.

Maars form when lava hits ground water, a shallow lake or permafrost, because water expands by 1,000 times when it turns to steam. The permafrost at the Devil Lakes site provided a steady supply of water for the rising lava, making the northern Seward Peninsula a loud place about 21,000 years ago.

“Devil Mountain was a big eruption with lots of magma, and because every bit of the ground had ice in it, it remained explosive as long as the eruption occurred,” Beget said. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019



RICH MANIERI: If Only President Trump Would Channel George Costanza - My father once told me, "Sometimes, doing nothing is doing something."

It's a little Yogi Berraesque, but it makes a lot of sense when you really think about it.

This, of course, is not President Donald Trump's philosophy of life.

He's more of a tweet-tweet-and-tweet-some-more kind of a guy.

Trump sees social media, Twitter in particular, as a way to deliver his unfiltered thoughts directly to the masses without dealing with what he believes - and correctly so - is a media establishment that can't stand the sight of him. Not a bad strategy if the person tweeting doesn't have the temper of Yosemite Sam. 

Last week, the Democrats were taking turns poking each other in the eye. It was great theater and the beauty for Trump and the Republicans was they didn't have to do anything other than sit back and watch the Democrats unravel.

By way of background, four progressive/socialist congresswomen without any truly serious ideas, a group the media calls "The Squad" - Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley - are fighting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for control.

The Squad appears hell-bent on taking the party farther and farther to the left until eventually doing a Thelma and Louise off the precipice.

If only the president would channel George Costanza.

"Everybody's doing something. We'll do nothing!"

Instead, while the Democrats were sowing chaos, and thereby doing everything possible to ensure another Trump victory in 2020, Trump fired off one of his trademark Sabbath tweets, apparently aimed at The Squad. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019


DANNY TYREE: Apollo 11 Golden Anniversary: Something for Everyone - I feared that the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing might get eclipsed by other celebrations (the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the 10th anniversary of financier Jeffrey Epstein's latest girlfriend learning to tie her shoes, etc.), but apparently the sky is the limit for Apollo 11 remembrances. 

And why not? This milestone offers something for everyone.

Those of us with enough gray hairs and wrinkles to remember the moon landing as "current events" view the New Frontier nostalgically, although we now experience some of the era's buzzwords with a different perspective.Nowadays the eagerly awaited "splashdown" has less to do with an ocean rendezvous than with the hoped-for results of our latest high-fiber diet.

Youngsters with aspirations of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career relish seeing footage of the myriad behind-the-scenes folks who made the moon landing possible, On the negative side, therapists feel the films may encourage teen suicide. ("Seriously, dude - if I ever get a haircut like that one, strap me to a Saturn rocket and aim me at a brick wall.")

Dance enthusiasts are excited that archival material may finally confirm that Neil Armstrong's hastily scrapped original plans for his first words on the moon were "Put your right foot in, take your right foot out, right foot in and you shake it all about..."

On a related note, linguists and survivalists alike are glad that President Kennedy's 1962 speech gave Americans a challenge that was characterized as "hard" - not "Easy peasy, lemon squeezy."

Stamp collectors are ecstatic that the United States Postal Service is releasing two commemorative stamps featuring iconic images of the Apollo 11 mission. Next year, the USPS will issue commemorative stamps with iconic images of stamp collectors sitting home alone while their spouses are out on the town.

Conspiracy theorists are keenly interested in the anniversary. ("Of COURSE, we actually went to the moon instead of filming it out in the desert. But the average person doesn't realize that it was all part of a botched scheme to beam deadly VACCINATION RAYS back down on an unsuspecting earth!") - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Apollo 11, Golden Anniversary

Political Cartoon: Apollo 11, Golden Anniversary
By Bruce Plante ©2019, Tulsa World
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

The PFD By Michael Fitzgerald - I agree that some of the programs affected by the Governor’s vetoes must have their funding restored. But I’m shocked by the careless disregard shown by those that support accomplishing that goal by taking $$ away from those Alaskans that can least afford it. Think about it for a moment... every $1.00 by which the PFD is reduced or (gasp!) eliminated comes out of the pocket of EVERY Alaskan - essentially a regressive tax that hits the poorest the hardest! How can ANY fair minded person really support that? How can someone that considers themselves “Progressive” support that? There are at least 2 separate issues here that need to be addressed. In my opinion, they cannot be addressed until they are separated:

1) How the payout from the PFD is calculated MAY need to be adjusted. The political truth is this will only ever be accomplished by a vote of the people. This will require a level of leadership and statesmanship heretofore not seen from the current batch of folks. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Correction of the Record, “Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in.” By R Brent Murphy - I am writing to correct the statements made in Frances H. Leach's opinion editorial titled, “Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in.” published on July 11, 2019 in SitNews.

The opinion article states, “As they’re currently being permitted, B.C’s large-scale, open pit transboundary mines threaten all of that (commercial fishing).”

This statement is inaccurate and does not stand true for Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project. The proposed KSM Project underwent a rigorous independent joint harmonized BC-CANADA Environmental Assessment over a seven-year period (2007-2104), a regulatory review that also involved both US Federal and State representatives working alongside Provincial and Federal regulators.

As noted in the decision statement of the Canadian Minister of the Environment: The project is not likely to cause adverse environmental effects as defined in the former Act, taking into account the implementation of mitigation measures described in the report ... the mitigation measures and follow up programs described in the Report are appropriate for the project.

The British Columbia Ministers of Environment and Energy and Mines concluded, “the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.” - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Measles & Vaccinations By Amanda Mitchell - There was a single case of measles of an unvaccinated youth being reported in Alaska.  It is being said that there have been no cases of measles in Alaska in the past couple of years.  

This is not entirely true. We have had cases of measles in Alaska in the past couple years, but which were caused by the vaccine. Shannon Ballard, on January 23, 2015, posted an article titled, ”The Disneyland measles outbreak may have reached Alaska.” In this article (which you can no longer find) they blamed the unvaccinated for 1 year old Rivki Webb testing positive for measles. Robert Herriman on January 24, 2015 published the follow-up stating after an investigation by DSHS, the child had symptoms and tested positive for measles, but it was from the child’s recent vaccine. The ‘measles case’ was then reclassified to a reaction to the vaccine.  There are similar cases out there, however, because of the pervasive bias towards vaccine efficiency and safety these events get downplayed, blamed on the unvaccinated or not covered at all.  - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Our Public Lands Must Be Part of the Climate Change Solution By Alison Kelly and Briana Mordick - The millions of acres of public lands that belong to all Americans should be part of the solution to the climate crisis, but mismanagement by the federal government is making them part of the problem. The fossil fuels found on our public lands are significant sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead of addressing this problem, the Trump administration is downplaying or outright ignoring it to benefit the oil, gas, and coal industries.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a dire warning about the rapidly shrinking window of time remaining if we want any hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, such as extreme temperatures, flooding and drought, sea level rise, and species loss and extinction. Yet the data show we’re still going in the wrong direction - a recent report found that America’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion rose by 2.7% in 2018—the second largest annual increase since 2000 after three years of continuous decline. While our emissions are still down overall, we’re not cutting them anywhere near fast enough to meet Paris Agreement climate goals, let alone the more ambitious target of holding global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that federal lands are a big contributor to U.S. emissions. The researchers found that together, coal, oil, and gas produced on federal lands account for approximately 25 percent of the total fossil fuels produced annually in the United States and that, on average, emissions from combustion and extraction of those fossil fuels accounted for 23.7 percent of national carbon dioxide emissions, 7.3 percent methane emissions, and 1.5 percent of nitrous oxide emissions from 2005-2014. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

The SQUAD By Rob Holston - Trump wants to send congresswomen who were born in the U.S. back to…? Back to where? He believes they are foreign born? It’s a bit of a stretch for me to defend Trump on this particular verbiage. However I’m sure he was referring to these women’s not too distant removed homeland of lineage.

Think of some black NBA players who return to their ancestral homeland, finance and set up foundations for the betterment of youth, Trump sees the NBA guy as a hero who embraces the USA and it’s opportunities and wants to change the rest of the world for good…….. while these freshman congresswomen seem to detest the USA and want to make changes that Trump sees as leading our country backwards into 3rd world country status. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Israel Is Essential For Survival Of Jews By Donald Moskowitz - This is the 81st anniversary of the Evan-les-Bains, France conference conducted July 6-15, 1938 to discuss the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany, and develop and implement a plan to rescue them. President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated convening the conference of 32 countries and 24 relief agencies.

Adolph Hitler said he would agree to allow the Jews to leave Germany and emigrate to the 32 countries represented at the conference.

Unfortunately, 31 countries refused to take in any of the Jewish refugees. Only the Dominican Republic agreed to allow in some Jews. All kinds of excuses were stated. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King said "We must … seek to keep this part of the Continent free from unrest and from too great an intermixture of foreign strains of blood." The British, who controlled Palestine, refused to allow the Jews to emigrate because of the ongoing conflict between Arabs and Jews. The French said they could not help. The U.S. State Department, who had at least one Jew hater in a prominent position, blocked entry to the U.S. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama said they wanted no traders or intellectuals. Argentina said it had enough immigrants from Europe. Australia said it had no racial problems and did not want to create any.  - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in. By Frances Leach - United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is grateful to Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan, as well as the senators of Idaho, Washington and Montana, for coming together across party lines to urge British Columbia Premier John Horgan to clean up B.C.’s mining sector and to work towards alleviating the threat B.C.’s large scale open-pit mines pose to the province’s downstream U.S. neighbors. All eight senators representing B.C.’s four U.S. border states wrote Premier Horgan on June 13, informing him on what they have been doing to monitor and sustain rivers that flow from B.C. into their states and requesting he increase the province’s efforts to do the same. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Argument Proved: State Spending Increasing By Rodney Dial - I was going to keep the debate going and write a long response to Rep. Ortiz; then I realized that he essentially proved my argument…. that state spending is increasing. He previously proved it was unsustainable when he advocated for additional taxes on top of increased use of the PFD earnings. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Protect our Seniors and Students By Rep. Dan Ortiz - As the Alaska Legislature debates how to resolve the amount and sustainability of the PFD, and what services should be funded and at what level, I pledge to continue caring for our children and our seniors. Legislators may disagree on many of the ‘hows’, but we should stand together in protecting our most vulnerable. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

CHLORINE STILL IN KETCHIKAN? By Florian Sever - Does the City of Ketchikan filter the drinking water it provides to the public? - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Assembly and School Board Need Immediate Fiscal Plans By Dan Bockhorst - A Borough Assembly member (writing as a private citizen) recently expressed legitimate concerns about practices of State officials that have caused acute fiscal troubles throughout Alaska. The concerns expressed boil down to four points: - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Governor's Vetos By Rep. Dan Ortiz - I would like to thank Rodney Dial for the letter he submitted to SitNews published on June 30, 2019. Even more I would like to thank Assemblyman Dial for his commitment to public service by serving on the Ketchikan Borough Assembly. I offer the following facts that counter many of the points raised by Mr. Dial but I do so in the spirit of open communication and with respect for the arguments being made by him. The following facts & figures come from the non-partisan Legislative Finance Division and are viewable by the general public. - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

Open Letter: RE: Boondoggle By Al Johnson - Good to hear from you Rep. Ortiz during you busy break (I agree with the Senate President as to the Governor calling the location, I disagree that it has to be. I would if asked, suggest that you attend where the Governor has indicated while the lawsuit proceeds (Deal with the determination). That too, disturbs me that the separated powers are in this fix. .- More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Boondoggle Looking For A Place To Happen By Rep. Dan Ortiz - In response to the letter submitted by A.M. “AL” Johnson entitled “Boodoggle Looking For A Place To Happen”, I agree with the sentiments/concerns expressed by Mr. Johnson. His concerns centered around SB 92, the “Derelict Vessels” bill, sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche. The bill was submitted at the request of Harbor Masters across the state because of the problems encountered statewide with vessels being abandoned with no or little way law enforcement personnel could trace who were the owners of the boat. - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

Boondoggle looking for a place to happen By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the upcoming LIO Ortiz Ketchikan meeting, I will not be attending, however were the chance to give Representative Ortiz a piece of my mind on a particular matter it would be:   Title registration of boats over 24 feet.  This legislation is a SNAFU big time. What a mess this will be.

Having to register in person at the DMV office, not on line, required paperwork on boats owned for years without any formal information on the transaction or worst, lost paper work never thinking of this worthless goal legislation would be approved. The worthless intent alone should have told legislators that it will be a nightmare effort to police. More it appears to be a avenue for revenue over the stated intent of its being. - More...
Wednesday PM - July 03, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Governor's Vetoes By Elaine Taylor - I read with great interest the letter to the editor from Rodney Dial.   In high school we were taught that when you have a complaint, valid or not, you also offer a remedy.  Dial did not offer any real suggestions. - More...
Wednesday PM - July 03, 2019

jpg Opinion

Governor's Vetos By Rodney Dial - So the Governor has announced his vetoes, cutting $444 million from the budget. Assuming these cuts stand, just about everyone will feel some pain, and it will have an impact on local taxes. - More...
Saturday AM - June 29, 2019

jpg Opinion

Cuts Could Have Been Avoided By Ray Metcalfe - The University could have avoided all these cuts had it recognized years ago that we Alaskans, unlike any other state, have a collective responsibility to manage a cornucopia of valuable resources that were given to the people of Alaska to develop and sell on the world market as a means of supporting our schools and other governmental needs. - More...
Saturday AM - June 29, 2019

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